Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space within letters pairs. The term typography is also applied to the style, arrangement, and appearance of the letters, numbers, and symbols created by the process. Type design is a closely related craft, sometimes considered part of typography; most typographers do not design typefaces, and some type designers do not consider themselves typographers. Typography also may be used as a decorative device, unrelated to communication of information.
Contemporary books are more likely to be set with state-of-the-art "text romans" or "book romans" typefaces with serifs and design values echoing present-day design arts, which are closely based. Studies distinguishing between have favored parallel letterwise recognition on traditional models such as those of Nicolas Jenson, Francesco Griffo (a punchcutter who created the model for Aldine typefaces), and Claude Garamond:
Typography utilized to characterize text: Typography is intended to reveal the character of the text. Through the use of typography, a body of text can instantaneously reveal the mood the author intends to convey to its readers. The message that a body of text conveys has a direct relationship with the typeface that is chosen. Studies distinguishing between Bouma recognition and parallel letterwise recognition with regard to how people recognize words when they read, have favored parallel letterwise recognition. Studies distinguishing between Bouma recognition and parallel letterwise recognition with regard to how people recognize words when they read, have favored parallel letterwise recognition, which is widely accepted by cognitive psychologists. Some commonly agreed findings of legibility research include:
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In the nascent stages of European printing, the typeface (blackletter, or Gothic) was designed in imitation of the popular hand-lettering styles of scribes. Initially, this typeface was difficult to read, because each letter was set in place individually and made to fit tightly into the allocated space. The art of manuscript writing, whose origin was during Hellenistic and Roman bookmaking, reached its zenith in the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. Metal typefaces notably altered the style, making it "crisp and uncompromising", and also brought about "new standards of composition". During the Renaissance period in France, Claude Garamond was partially responsible for the adoption of Roman typeface that eventually supplanted the more commonly used Gothic (blackletter). Roman typeface also was based on hand-lettering styles.
Typography has long been a vital part of promotional material and advertising. Designers often use typefaces to set a theme and mood in an advertisement; for example using bold, large text to convey a particular message to the reader. Choice of typeface is often used to draw attention to a particular advertisement, combined with efficient use of color, shapes, and images. Today, typography in advertising often reflects a company's brand. Typefaces used in advertisements convey different messages to the reader, classical ones are for a strong personality, while more modern ones may convey clean, neutral look.
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